21. City Lights (Charlie Chaplin, 1931)
- The Kid
- The Circus
- City Lights
- Monsieur Verdoux
- The Pilgrim
- Modern Times
- The Gold Rush
- The Great Dictator
Those rankings are a bit deceiving because I like all of the Chaplin stuff I have seen (I think I have them all at 8 or higher), it’s just that “The Gold Rush” and “The Great Dictator” were underwhelming in comparison to the raves I had heard about them.
Chaplin mixes anarchy with pathos probably better than anyone ever has or ever will. The belief that you can mix craziness, character development, and a love story into a seamless blend really started with Chaplin. Many have tried since, but most of it fails horribly(I am looking at you Jack Black). Occasionally you get characters in films that almost succeed(namely Will Ferrell‘s character in “Old School“, and Jim Carrey in “Dumb and Dumber“) at bringing both the crazy and the sympathy, but no one has ever done it so masterfully and so regularly as Chaplin.
“City Lights” is most notable for the iconic closing scene, which is probably Chaplin’s most well known non-comedic scene:
But the film also contains my favorite Chaplin sequence:
Just the sheer ridiculousness of it all and the choreography blows my mind.
On filmaffinity.com I rated the film an 8/10, and I think I am sticking with that. I think the poster is pretty tight too.